Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Artistic Director, Mark W. Jones-Executive Director) is celebrating its upcoming 72nd season with Reaching for the Stars - Songs from Broadway and the Movies on Thursday, May 12th at the Hilton Short Hills.

The annual gala celebration will offer an evening with three-time Academy Award winner and Wicked; Godspell; and Pippin composer Stephen Schwartz, many of whose shows have been presented at Paper Mill Playhouse. Joining him will be two of New York's top singers, Liz Callaway and Michael Rose, to sing songs from Schwartz's Hollywood movies and Broadway shows. Liz Callaway has been performing with Stephen Schwartz in concert for over ten years and has one of the most prized voices around. Michael Rose has performed worldwide and is a popular recording artist. There will be a special performance by Paper Mill Playhouse Theatre School students.

Stephen Schwartz has contributed music and/or lyrics to Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife, Working (which he also adapted and directed), Rags, Children of Eden and the Broadway hit, Wicked. For films, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney's Enchanted as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt. His first opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, premiered with Opera Santa Barbara in the fall of 2009. "Defying Gravity," a book about his career, was recently released by Applause Books. Mr. Schwartz has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His additional awards include three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, and four Drama Desk Awards.

Liz Callaway made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along. She went on to star in Baby; Miss Saigon; The Look of Love; The Three Musketeers; as 'Grizabella' for five years in Cats and is a Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner. Ms. Callaway's Off-Broadway appearances include: The Spitfire Grill; No Way to Treat a Lady; Marry Me a Little; and Brownstone. Her award-winning production of Sibling Revelry, created with her sister Ann Hampton Callaway, played at the Donmar Warehouse in London to great critical acclaim.

Michael Rose appeared in Paper Mill Playhouse's critically acclaimed production of 1776 last season and recently returned from a concert series of Stephen Schwartz's work in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mr. Rose performed in the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Asia tour of Grease!, and several stage productions for Disney including Mr. Schwartz's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the new musical Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story. In Los Angeles, he appeared in the Ovation Award winning production of Miss Saigon and Carol Burnett's directorial debut of Once Upon a Mattress.

The reception and silent auction begin at 6:00pm followed by dinner and entertainment featuring the Eddie Bruce Band. The 2010 Gala is sponsored by Hilton Short Hills, Allen and Joan Bildner, The Ferolito Family, Sylvia and David Steiner, and Investors Savings Bank.

For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Elizabeth Bennett at 908-322-1100 or ebennett@evergreenpr.com

For over seven decades Paper Mill Playhouse has been one of the nation's leading not-for-profit theaters. They continue to bring world-class artists and outstanding musicals and plays to the community while enriching the lives of over 50,000 young people each year through renowned education outreach, artists training and access programs.